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Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

A Citrusy Delight: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Recipe

This recipe takes you on a journey of creamy indulgence with a refreshing citrus twist. It's a showstopping Lemon Meringue Cheesecake that combines a buttery crumb crust, a smooth and tangy cheesecake filling, and a light and airy meringue topping.

Ingredients:

  • The Crumbly Base:

    • 2 cups shortbread biscuit crumbs (store-bought or homemade for a more artisanal touch)
    • ¼ cup melted butter (binds the crumbs together)
  • The Creamy Cheesecake Filling:

    • 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature (for a smooth and creamy texture)
    • 1 cup granulated white sugar (sweetens the filling)
    • 1 cup sour cream (adds tang and richness)
    • 1 ½ cups lemon curd (the heart of the lemon flavor)
    • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (for an extra zesty punch)
    • 4 large eggs (provides structure and richness)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (adds warmth and complexity)
    • 1 lemon, zested (fresh lemon zest infuses the filling with intense citrus aroma)
  • The Light and Fluffy Meringue Topping:

    • 4 egg whites (separated from the yolks used in the filling)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (sweetens and helps the meringue hold its shape)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). Grease a springform pan for easy removal of the cheesecake later.

  2. Creating the Crust: In a large bowl, combine the crushed shortbread biscuits with the melted butter. Mix well until the crumbs are evenly coated. Press the crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan, ensuring an even layer.

  3. Whipping Up the Filling: In a separate large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and sour cream until smooth and light. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating well after each addition.

  4. Adding the Flavor Boost: One at a time, incorporate the eggs into the cream cheese mixture, beating well after each addition. This ensures a smooth and well-combined filling. Stir in the lemon curd, fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, and grated lemon zest. Mix until everything is well incorporated.

  5. Assembling the Cheesecake: Pour the creamy cheesecake filling over the prepared crumb crust in the springform pan. Spread the filling evenly to ensure a consistent bake.

  6. Baking the Cheesecake: Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) for 60 minutes. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely at room temperature.

  7. Preparing the Meringue: While the cheesecake cools, prepare the meringue topping. In a clean, grease-free medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar while continuing to whisk until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be glossy and hold its shape.

  8. Adding the Meringue Topping: Once the cheesecake is cool, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Spread the lemon curd evenly over the cooled cheesecake filling. Gently dollop or spread the meringue topping over the lemon curd layer.

  9. Baking the Meringue: Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until the meringue topping is golden brown.

  10. Cooling and Serving: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature for about an hour. Then, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and the filling to set perfectly.

Tips:

  • For a richer flavor, use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream.
  • To prevent cracks on the cheesecake surface, bake it in a water bath. Place the springform pan on a larger baking sheet and fill the outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
  • Let the cheesecake cool completely before adding the meringue topping. A cold filling helps prevent the meringue from weeping (leaking liquid).

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